March 30, 2021
Danske Bank workplace Domestic Violence policy a welcome and encouraging development – Louise O’Reilly TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, and Sinn Féin President, Mary Lou McDonald TD, have described the publication by Danske Bank of a workplace Domestic Violence policy as a welcome and encouraging development.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“I would like to welcome and support the publication by Danske Bank of a domestic violence workplace policy.

“Significant thanks for this encouraging development must also go to the Financial Services Union (FSU) who helped negotiate the policy over the last number of months.

“It is well known that domestic violence and abuse do not stop when victims leave their homes and often follows them into their place of work.

“I would hope that more workplaces follow suit with such comprehensive domestic violence workplace policies, and in this regard, politicians have a key role to play.

“That is why Sinn Féin introduced legislation to provide for a statutory annual entitlement of up to 10 days’ domestic violence paid leave.

“Such a provision would enable victims take the necessary time off work they need to seek support, find accommodation or attend court in a structured and supported environment. It also addresses unpredictable absenteeism and reduced productivity for employers.

“Currently Sinn Féin has legislation, which was passed by the Dáil last year, awaiting a Pre-Legislative Scrutiny hearing at an Oireachtas Committee.”

Teachta McDonald said:

“New Zealand, Australia and provinces in Canada have all introduced forms of paid leave.

“Sinn Féin’s legislation would be important addition to existing workplace rights and critically it would give victims the time to secure the support they need in the knowledge that their employment is secure.

“The policy launched by Danske Bank, in conjunction with the FSU, is a welcome development that includes paid leave, access to confidential counselling services, flexible working arrangements, information and subject matter training for all staff, are among the main practical support mechanisms outlined in the policy.

“This is an encouraging development and it is now up to politicians in the Dáil and Seanad to live up to their responsibilities, grasp this issue, and implement legislation that gives workers a legal right to paid domestic violence leave, and also be to the forefront of developing comprehensive policy in the area, with properly funded supports to match.”

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